PM awaits McKenzie's sports scandal report
Scott Morrison is expected to receive advice regarding embattled minister Bridget McKenzie from his department chief as soon as tomorrow.
Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet secretary Philip Gaetjens was asked last week to investigate whether any part of Senator McKenzie's handling of the $100 million Community Sport Infrastructure Program breached ministerial standards.
An auditor-general report found the program favoured coalition marginal and targeted seats before last year's federal election.
The audit found in the third round of the program, 73 per cent of projects given funding were not recommended by Sport Australia.
MrGaetjens was given the additional task of looking at whether Senator McKenzie, when she was sports minister, breached rules in regard to her non-declaration of the membership of a Victorian gun club which received $36,000 from the program.
The minister has argued she did not need to declare the membership as it was a gift provided to her in January 2019 and round two funding from the program became available in December 2018.
And, as the gift was valued at less than $300, it did not meet the threshold for declaration, she said.
Mr Morrison says he will await Mr Gaetjens' report before taking any action, while Nationals leader Michael McCormack says he has confidence in his deputy.
Cabinet minister Peter Dutton says no case has been made for her removal.
Labor argues Senator McKenzie has breached three ministerial standards: observing fairness in making official decisions; using taxpayer resources "through the lawful and disinterested exercise of the statutory and other powers available to their office"; and declaring and registering any personal interests.
If the minister is sacked, it is likely to trigger instability in the coalition government.
© AAP 2020